Physicist Sent to Halfway House
March 26, 1998 - AP
A nuclear physicist who gave secret national
defense information to Chinese scientists and lied about it to U.S.
investigators was sentenced Thursday to one year in a halfway
Peter Lee, 58, also must pay a $20,000 fine and perform 3,000
hours of community service.
U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter told Lee that a "message
needs to be sent to other scientists who take an oath, like you
did, not to reveal our nation's secrets."
The Taiwan-born resident of Manhattan Beach pleaded guilty Dec.
8 to giving China secret information in 1985 about the use of
lasers to simulate nuclear detonations. He told the FBI he wanted
to help the Chinese scientists and enhance his reputation there.
Lee worked as a laser energy researcher at the Los Alamos
National Laboratory in New Mexico. He divulged the information on a
visit to the government-run Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Seven Chinese scientists of the academy called it a normal
academic exchange and accused U.S. authorities of coercing Lee to
Justice for Jonathan Pollard notes that both Lee and Pollard were indicted on the same charge: passing classified information to a friendly nation. For passing critical munitions information on nuclear weapons and laser technology to the Chinese, Peter Lee was sentenced to one year in a halfway house. This stands in marked contrast to the that Jonathan Pollard received for passing vital security information to Israel that was due to her under the terms of a 1983 Letter of Understanding, and was deliberately being withheld.
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